rain.png
Wednesday September 22nd, 2021 11:29AM

Royals give Pérez 4-year, $82M deal; richest in team history

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Salvador Pérez still remembers growing up in the coastal Venezuelan city of Valencia, where as a youngster he would take batting practice against his mother with a broomstick and later play organized ball with the likes of José Altuve.

He never thought a day like Sunday could be possible.

That's when the Royals gave the six-time All-Star catcher an $82 million, four-year deal — the richest in club history — that will begin after his current contract in 2022. The deal ties Pérez to the only organization for which he's played until at least 2025, though a club option worth $13.5 million could keep him around for that season, too.

“It's hard to believe where I'm coming from, where I grew up, to see the situation I have right now, it makes me feel super happy,” Pérez said from the Royals' spring training home in Surprise, Arizona. “My mother is going to be happy. I know my grandma is going to be happy. I know they're excited for me to be here for four more years, maybe five.”

Pérez is due a base salary of $13 million as he completes his current $52.5 million, five-year contract. He will make $18 million next season, $20 million each in 2023 and 2024, and $22 million in 2025, of which $2 million will be deferred without interest and payable on June 30, 2027. The deal includes a $2 million buyout of the 2026 club option.

The value of the new deal surpasses the $72 million four-year contract the Royals gave outfielder Alex Gordon in 2016.

“Nobody loves to play baseball more than Salvador Pérez. There are players that like it just as much but nobody loves it more,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “Nobody can imagine him not being here.”

Pérez, who turns 31 in May, has not only established himself as one of the game's premier catchers but also one of the most beloved players in Royals history. He was World Series MVP in 2015, when the club broke its 30-year title drought, and is coming off a season in which he hit .333 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs to win his third Silver Slugger.

He also has five Gold Gloves to his name, and the Royals are counting on his ability to bring out the best in their pitchers to help a young and promising starting rotation that they hope will lead them back to the playoffs.

“I mean, the catching position is without a doubt the most demanding position in our game,” Moore said. “It's hard, I think almost impossible, to win championships unless you have somebody behind the plate, somebody at the catcher position, that's a leader — that brings out the confidence in your pitching staff. And Salvy does all that.”

Indeed, Pérez also has proven to be durable behind the plate. He appeared in at least 129 games six consecutive seasons, often arguing against getting days off, until missing the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery.

He returned to have one of the best seasons of his career during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

“It's the same with everybody: You trust your medical people,” Moore said. “Of course we talked about Salvy, but at the end of the day, they all signed off on it because they believe in his work ethic. They believe in the condition of his body. They believe in his heart and mind to play. He puts himself in a position to go out there every single day.”

Pérez also happens to be a personal favorite of John Sherman, the former part-owner of the AL Central rival Indians, who leads the ownership group that purchased the Royals from the late David Glass prior to last season.

Sherman called a summit in Florida in January that included Moore, Pérez and several other executives, and it was during that meeting that they began hashing out the framework for the new contract. It wound up getting done just weeks before opening day, when the Royals hope to welcome about 10,000 fans back to Kauffman Stadium for each game.

“You know, they believe in me and what I do on the field,” Pérez said, “and all the fans in Kansas City, you know?”

The small-market Royals have long had a reputation for being stingy with contracts, but Pérez's new deal is the latest sign that Sherman and the new owners are willing to open the checkbook to put a winner on the field.

This past offseason alone, the Royals signed slugging first baseman Carlos Santana to a two-year, $17.5 million contract; they worked an aggressive three-team trade to land Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi; they lured right-hander Mike Minor back to town with a two-year, $18 million deal; they bolstered their beleaguered bullpen by signing former All-Star pitchers Greg Holland and Wade Davis, both part of their championship past.

They also have shown a willingness to reward their own. The Royals started March off by signing third baseman Hunter Dozier to a four-year, $25 million contract with the hope that he can bounce back from a rough 2020 season.

As for Pérez, he had no interest in trying out free agency for the first time after this season.

“I want to stay here,” he said simply. “I want to finish my career here."

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Romania sets record for virus patients in ICUs
Romania on Sunday recorded its highest number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units since the pandemic began
4:35PM ( 16 minutes ago )
FA Cup: Leicester ousts Man United; Chelsea reaches semis
Manchester United now has only one route to ending a four-year trophy drought
4:35PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Royals give Pérez 4-year, $82M deal; richest in team history
The Kansas City Royals have given six-time All-Star catcher Salvador Pérez the richest contract in club history, a four-year, $82 million deal that begins in 2022
4:32PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Beware the Wisconsin Badgers -- giant killers
Baylor is the top seed in the South Region, but Wisconsin’s recent NCAA Tournament history gives the Bears reason for concern heading into their second-round matchup
1:45PM ( 3 hours ago )
Raptors' Nurse fined $50,000 for mask-throwing, profanity
The NBA has fined Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse $50,000 for throwing his facemask behind the scorer’s table and toward the stands, plus for directing profanity toward game officials before leaving the floor at the end of a game Friday night
1:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Sister Jean's pregame prayer inspires Ramblers
Sister Jean Delores Schmidt gave an inspirational pregame prayer to her Loyola Chicago team before the eighth-seeded Ramblers met top-seeded Illinois in the second round
12:36PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Yanks star Stanton off to strong start after smashing finish
Giancarlo Stanton is picking up where he ended the postseason last year
1:24AM ( 15 hours ago )
Draft prospect Jack Leiter throws no-hitter, Ks 16 for Vandy
Top draft prospect Jack Leiter pitched a nine-inning no-hitter with 16 strikeouts for Vanderbilt, retiring his final 27 batters
4:02PM ( 1 day ago )
Nats reliever Harris out with blood clot in pitching arm
Washington Nationals reliever Will Harris has a blood clot in his right arm and the team doesn’t expect him to be in the bullpen on opening day
3:13AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Baseball
Lindor, Mets talk about new deal; Rosario struggles in CF
Just over two weeks before opening day, Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets have begun talking about keeping him in town beyond this year
1:47AM ( 4 days ago )
AP source: James becomes partner in group that owns Red Sox
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that LeBron James has become a partner in Fenway Sports Group
7:53PM ( 4 days ago )
Newly acquired Lindor, Mets start talks about long-term deal
Just over two weeks before opening day, Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets have begun talking about keeping him in town beyond this year
6:00PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
The Latest: Romania sets record for virus patients in ICUs
Romania on Sunday recorded its highest number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units since the pandemic began
4:35PM ( 16 minutes ago )
FA Cup: Leicester ousts Man United; Chelsea reaches semis
Manchester United now has only one route to ending a four-year trophy drought
4:35PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Whiskey makers face worsening hangover from trade dispute
A hangover from Trump-era tariff disputes could become more painful for American whiskey distillers unless their entanglement in the trans-Atlantic fight is resolved soon
4:22PM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: Oregon State in a Hinkle state of mind
The underdogs from Oregon State got into the spirit of playing at Hinkle Fieldhouse
4:17PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Nun-and-done: Loyola Chicago stuns top-seeded Illinois 71-58
Loyola Chicago carried out 101-year-old superfan Sister Jean’s plans to a T, moving to the Sweet 16 with a 71-58 win over Illinois
4:16PM ( 35 minutes ago )